Cricket: Up above, down under.

The series to watch, perhaps it is slowly towards more of India-Aussies than India-Pak I am not alone who thinks so. Let result be what it shall be, lets just play some sublime; edge of the seat stuff. This series marks the transition of sorts it will be a the last big one for big five, Tendulkar, Kumble, Saurav, Rahul, Laxman, a starters for some one like Yuvraj, a learning curve for Jaffer and Sehwag may be just hoping he get a chance he will make it count or else he will be a by goner.

More or less, the less of it.

The pitches in India-Pakistan were deadly the tracks were dead and barren off display of being the host and it exposed what Indian team primarily lacks. The knock out punch. India to win a series down under needs 80 wickets. I hope someone does a Houdini and gets a bulk of them. If one seeks balls going at ankle level on the first morning of a test there is no point watching the match further. One could play twenty days and still struggle to see light at the end of the tunnel

Ganguly the greatest, other than Houdini.

Ganguly did a Houdini act a century at home ground, The Eden Gardens and double century following in Bangalore. The only thing good of it was he spent time in the middle not against the quality one wished for. Ganguly did his best in the Banglore test. But it’s much easier to score of Arafat when you are batting at 60 rather than when Shoaib is steaming full pace, breathing down your neck you are well past a century. It takes nothing of the sheen of the century but just adds an exclamation; will poor show by Ganguly Down Under make his previous series an ordinary one? Time will be a witness to that. What I did not like was the fact that he said that he would have scored more runs if he were to bat higher up the order all through his career. He was a captain for a few years did he ever mull opening the batting in Test matches, perhaps Ganguly knows the answer best. You can’t get much higher than opening the batting. Will he open in Australia? I say we would be moving to next cricketing funda.
It was more a taunt than regret. I know you are doing great but greatness isn’t achieving something but keep on repeating excellence at every given opportunity.
Can Ganguly enforce a draw against the Aussies in tough conditions?

Aussie dilemma?

All pace attack or a spinner in a Hogg? What would you pick? The Indian batting may rattle against quality pace but if you have Tait and Lee who spray it a bit all over the stuff then it become an issue. Whats plan B, Andrew Symonds? The there is Laxmania. Ponting has gone on record saying they are still to solve the Laxman riddle. It tough coz he can offer more than one stroke to any side of the wicket to ball pitched virtually anywhere. I think he will do well in pressure situation.

Indian task more than Herculean.

India is up against Aussies and umpires on the field, not so friendly Aussie media (ask Johhny Wilkinson) but there is one thing for sure that Aussie media respects encourages and honours quality.
I want India to win but it is a tough ask. It is not only that they have to get over the Aussies they also have to get up against ordinary umpiring that is always observed in Australia is it all due to the media or something else. It is deplorable. Sachin shouldered wicket 8 years back. The last series which India played down under, Langer was awarded immunity to LBWs, Steve Waugh couldn’t give out, and it was his last series. India getting over awful umpiring is a bigger hurdle than beating Aussies at home. Didn’t it come in the papers that how Rudi Koertzen was apologetic of giving Sangakarra out on 192. I thought doubt always goes to the batsmen. I believe when playing down under the benefit of the doubt always goes baggy green way. Ask a cricket follower, over the ages Umpiring in Australia has been ridiculous and atrocious. This is one more reason why I want India to beat Aussies such is there worth. Win at all cost.

Who do I bank on?

A Wall. The Wall. He will take it all and not give an inch. He has such a forte that India’s performance walk hand in hand with his batting geniuses. He may be short of runs but not out of form. I just wish he thinks of rotating the strike rather than just consume over after overs. India cannot win if Wall doesn’t set any foundations.
Tendulkar is not far off by any means. The Tendulkar show has graduate from fighting fire with fire to standing firm at times and holding back the charge if required. I want at least for once to see what he did in Perth all that years back. I have not seen any off it. I was way too young. He has to pull weight into the series and not only tire their bowlers but smack them into oblivion.
Laxman well you can’t just bowl to him on one side of the wicket coz he is pure wrist and a treat to watch along with Vaughan real class. Laxman will probably do well, he has to do it to put runs on the board and make Aussie stretch. I hope he keeps weaving the magic and let there be a very very special batting display of deft touch wrist flicks.
Sehwag. Let’s play Contra blast anything that gets to your, its perhaps your hour of redemption. Sehwag you got 195 last time, get some more and offer all that u got a dasher batsmen, decent fielder and cunning offie. Aussies don’t read offies that well they never did, Jasu Patel( knocked off Aussies in 50), Jim Laker (19 wickets in a match, bet that), Harbhajan (hat trick, 32 wickets in 5 innings),

What can Kumble do?

Bowl googly. Well he can do that but perhaps the best thing he would do is let the batsmen do the playing as no India batsmen is in the helm of affairs, there could be a better mental preparation. He can be in better control. He would like to be the first to do what no Indian captain has done. He had a rich haul of wickets last time he was around.

There has to be good contribution in terms of sticking to the wicket by our openers, good fielding, not dropping catches, decent bowling sticking to basics even if Aussies go after you.

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